Thursday, 22 December 2011

December Update

4 Quilts ready to be boxed and sent to 4 little girls - hope they like 'em!!
Sneek peek!!

and another sneeky peeky...

I'm loving getting into the Christmas spirit with my machine going like the clappers....!!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

3 French hens, 2 turtle doves and a terrier who jumps ashighasa tree!

I'm picking up a thread from a wonderful lady's blog over here atWith Heart and Hands: Christmas Memories  , where she's looking at her Christmas decorations from the past and present and recalling wonderful memories, mindful that those made and chosen today will become our memories of the future...this has made me take a few snaps of my decorations so far this season and I must admit I love recalling the stories of where these little treasures originated from.
Lots of those decorating our rooms this year are relatively new as there are boxes STILL in the loft, mainly comprising of precious baubles laced with first christmas, millinium baubles, ones with photos in of when the boys were tiny, gifts of ornate treasures that have come from the USA when my parents-in-law went. But they are in the loft still...due to the fact that they are so precious and mostly ROUND, you know a ball and we have the most balloholic dog! One that will gladly launch himself into a tree having spotted something deliciously spherical.
So we have one token bauble, glass and green camouflaged high in the branches..candy walking sticks as both terriers are not too fussed at sweet stuff (thank heavens for small mercies!) mind you I have caught one chewing on a dry and baked orange slice that I had made to adorn the tree.
We have candles rather than lights on the tree and the large red one in the foreground is one that that Max made last year at his school Advent Fair.
I decided to give the old lampshade a bit of festive bling!

everything held in place with pins!

wooden hearts made by the Camphill community, a felt star stuffed with Xmas spices and homemade paper streamers

My new addition of an IKea star
Maybe next year, the oldies will return, when our Jango has calmed down a bit and I can trust that our precious's can the meantime we will enjoy this years selection of more robust decorations! Happy Holidays to you all x

If you need me...I'll be in the ditch

What a wonderful place to BE!!! I'm having so much fun machine quilting at the moment..its been like a EUREKA moment. I've had this industrial machine a whole year now, loved it and used it constantly but really struggled with quilting on it due to the power and speed...theres no walking foot here and you can't drop the feed dogs either. But I've practiced and practiced, slowed myself RIGHT down and increased my stitch length considerably. And I'm really happy with the results..I'm just stitching in the ditch, nothing fancy but its all coming together and if at first you don't succeed...TRY TRY TRY again.

I st myself the challenge of completing 4 quilts to give as Christmas pressies to 4 of 5 grandaughters...since then another (step) grandaughter has joined the I've managed to up it to 5 (the remaining little one Madeleine received a quilt last year that I made with the help of 2 of her sisters) The picture above is of the last one being quilted... heres a few pics of the others dotted amongst other 'makings' of the year.

Lucy's quilt awaiting binding

Ruby's cat quilt - pictured upside down!!

Libby's hand quilted bits and bobs quilt

Charley-Mae's is the blue and pinky one - the other I sold as a babyquilt at a recent craft fair

Grace's quilt before piecing

I'm going to try and photo them all together before they are posted,'s beginning to feel alot like Christmas ,don't you think. Wherever you are I do hope that you are enjoying the run up to Christmas and that it isn't too stressful and like me you can find a bit of time for some joy in the ditch!!
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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Please excuse the crummy photo with my flash in the middle - but I love this picture with all those people on it!! and the says it all. It's nearly one year since I started this blog and it has been such a worthwhile and enjoyable experience - and I've 'met' in this blogasphere such lovely people willing to share their knowledge, encourage and support and offer great insights and friendship. Truely wonderful. Thank you to all that stop by and read this blog .Enjoy this first Sunday in advent everyone.
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Advent Felting

Tomorrow sees the first Sunday in Advent arrive and to mark this occasion, I held a felting workshop in the local Parish Hall for folk to come and felt something with an Advent theme. One did a stocking in readiness for Santa, a couple made table mats to place a candle or a plant on..and three made wall hangings with little pockets hidden within to contain advent treats or the like. As always, it was a lovely day, full of chatter and laughter... but at times quiet with concentration, getting lost in the moment, in a world of colourful merino wools.
Ornela's tree with hidden pockets

Freya's kiwi inspired hanging with hidden pockets

Sarah's stocking drying on the radiator

Bec's lovely poinsettia inspired table decoration

Sian holding her ivy patterned table decoration

June uncovering the little hidden pockets ready to pop little phials in, to hold tiny flowers!
Felting is a wonderful process, that brings creativity out in a person, sometimes quite by surprise. It never fails to inspire people and it gives them confidence and a well-earned pat on the back for achievement. It's a beautiful medium, that it seems almost all can enjoy, across all ages. AND a trifle addictive! so enter this soft and colourful world at your peril!!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

The 'Hug' of a Quilt that warms your heart...

Having spoken to my aunt last week, I came off the phone knowing that my quilt to her had to be sent sooner rather than later. She's having a tough old time, having fallen some 14 or more weeks ago - she's a bit down in the mouth, fed up with looking at the same 4 walls, and desperate to get out and about and back to normal. I live some hundred and fifty miles away and really wanted to cheer her up in some way. The quilt was supposed to be a Christmas pressie but sometimes needs must.  So I parcelled it up and sent it on Monday. Well, the joy in her voice when she rang was wonderful - she knows that she's in my thoughts and that there is love stitched into every seam. I didn't realise until then, that a quilt really can GIVE that hug that you so want to share - and make someone feel that warm, fuzzy, loved feeling - knowing that someone has taken the time and the effort to show that they care. And we all need that at times don't we?

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Quilt that is making itself...

Have you ever made a quilt, that appears to have a life, a will and an unfoldingness of its own? This is what I'm experiencing now,,,and enjoying every second,
I'm a collector, a hoarder, a house is full of clutter and in a previous life I was probably some sort of furtler, come bag lady who rummaged through bins. Consequently, my fabric stash is enormous and I have unconsciously been storing materials since... I could.
Very recently, I have been reunited with my great aunt who I haven't seen for forty years. No excuses, no good reason for the unearthly amount of time that has lapsed but nevertheless I'm thrilled as I have fond memories of this lady and after all this time, this tiny fiesty lady has opened her heart to a part of her family that over the years has become a distant memory. As she has been quite poorly for a few weeks, I thought I could make a small quilt to cover and warm her lap and legs in the forthcoming winters. Well, fabrics have unearthed themselves as if by magic as I searched my stash and have come together as symbols of the passed decades that we have been estanged. I have made squares from 1970's pillow cases, '80's dresses and scraps from the last 20 years - not to mention some 1950's apron..It will be called 'the forty year quilt' and as it grows , and as I sew and think of my aunt, this quilt and its variety of fabrics makes my heart sing..
There is nothing quite like making something for someone in mind.
Spot the big daisies? They're from the pillow case

The blue flowers on the left are from an apron

The 2 flowery squares the same, were a vintage dress
Kaffe sits side by side with Laura Ashley vintage frock and a Michael Miller favourite green floral on the right. The solid colours are french napkins....all favourites!!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Block Lotto - Liberated Logs!

 These are my October blocks for the Block Lotto. They had to contain blue and cream fabrics . I'm not big on cream, and have limited blues I suppose ..and I had made a promise to myself to just use stuff that I already have in my fabric stash. I have LOADS of fabrics but, each time I came to play the Lotto, I ended up having to buy even now I am working within my limits and joining in when I can.
Anyway, as luck would have it, I remembered some vintage Laura Ashley cream coloured fabric that I have had dark-holed for a while, plus a few blue Laura Ashley scraps that were left from a hexagon project ET VOILA!!
This month's Block Lotto is a corker!! The theme is to use these colours in a sampler way - and create sampler blocks - so that the completed quilt will have a colour theme but a menage of all sorts of block patterns. I have chosen aliberated log cabin type theme. The top left was suppposed to be a blue rose type shape...but it lost its way a bit!! and is now a wonky window.
I would love to win this month!!!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Nuno Day at the Parish Room

Yesterday, I held a Nuno Felting Workshop locally here in Shipley where we made some beautiful scarves...boy was it hard work and there was even ....a bit of a failure...but on the whole it was SO worth the blood, sweat and tears!!

Starting with a six foot long or more pice of cotton open weave muslin or a silk chiffon, we first created and played with colour and texture and density...and then for at least an hour we rolled, rubbed, soaked, more rubbing and rolling, threw and rubbed some more...until the most beautiful scarves started to shape up, felt up...and we all cheered!!
There is something very euphoric about creating something really beautiful..your own design..your own energy.

The cotton gauzy muslin produced lovely results somewhat easier than the silk chiffon. Two people chose the silk. It took an age to felt and one piece especially appeared to reject all fibres - so much so that afer a long time we called it a day as every fibre looked like it was coming away. The other took what seemed like hours.. and hours and in the end 3 people at once were rubbing and willing and praying for these fibres to work their magic...and eventually a combination of many hands, brute force, hard work and determination payed off and a beautiful nuno silk scarf was born. PHEW!!!!

a few more pics!!
Patricia's before the silk was layed upon it

Chrissie's before the muslin

Alena and Natalie's hearts before the muslin

Chrissie's - check out the shrinkage! the green line is the original size!

Alena and Natalies finished scarf - minimal shrinkage

Eva before the muslin...
...and after shrinkage has occured!! WOW!!!!

More info on my other blog here
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Friday, 7 October 2011

How Bazaar???

I'm so excited, we've finally done it after weeks of preparation!!

2 like minded friends and I have put together our own website, introducing ourself and selling our crafts.

Within this small collective is; Zoe who makes beautiful Waldorf inspired dolls and toys, Sarah who makes the most original and characterful (is that a word?) sock creations and me with some patchwork fancies and the odd quilt here and there.(Odd as in occasional, not weird??!!)

Together we are The Nutbrook Bazaar
DO come and have a look, and if you have time, please leave me some feedback- I'd love to hear from you.

Watch this space for a giveaway in the next week or two to celebrate the launch. Cheers (hic) ...clinking of champagne glasses and the distant pop of another bottle being opened....

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The right time and the right place

As luck would have it, I noticed the wording on some lovely fabric that I purchased in the summer.. Look... 10 lovely Tea Roses 50c. My block that I featured in the tutorial over at 15 minutes play I called Hybrid T Rose - all because there was the letter T in a tiny scrap of fabric that I used within my 'made' fabric - such a coincidence that I could use this wonderful wordy fabric that featured Tea Roses too.
The quilts is going great guns - the top is 99% finished.

Nearly complete now ... just need to monkey around with the applique now

The progression of pinky blue quilt....

This is introducing the idea of some red...
I'm putting together a quilt, as you may know, for Project Linus but also to use my Tea Rose blocks that I made in conjunction with 15 minutes Play - I put out an S.O.S. for help and inspiration - and a couple of wonderful quilters advised me to add some reds and I'm plotting my journey. It is kinda fun...but I also have to keep walking away because its in danger of driving me nuts!!! I reckon you can look at a quilt TOOOO long!!

Adding some blue.. and liking the idea of some black and white too

introducing the idea of some embellishments in the form of applique maybe?

I love the black and white dot in the centre - but is it TOO pale?

More red borders...

What about a border to the black/white dots?

Auditioning different colours and fabrics for the top

Just about to unpick the blue as the tiny apple motif appears to be a bit on the slant
Posted by PicasaSo thats where I am so far... in grave danger of over-egging the pudding....OVER-guilding the lily....but heyho its fun and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow